What is the connection between Obama and Saul Alinsky?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 24, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: In the "Barack and Hard Place Segment" tonight the name Saul Alinsky keeps popping up in the presidential campaign. He was a far- left social activist based in Chicago who died in 1972 but not before leaving all kinds of strategies for radical Americans.

In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Alinsky and his organizing plan. Now yesterday Fox News White House correspondent, Ed Henry asked this question.


ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Newt Gingrich keeps saying on the campaign trail that the President's vision comes from Saul Alinsky, the community organizer. I haven't heard you asked about that.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: But the President's background as a community organizer is well-documented in the President's own books. So his experience in that field obviously contributed to who is he today. But his experience is -- is a broad-based one.


O'REILLY: What? With us now Monica Crowley and Alan Colmes. All right, I don't know what question he was answering there.

Look, Saul Alinsky you know, for people who are involved in political science and there he is. This guy, you know, is in the great tradition of Carl Marx, Lenin.



O'REILLY: People -- well, he even said he admired those men. Ok, he said it in his writings that he admired then and that he -- he didn't respect private property rights. He thought that everybody should be guaranteed a certain style of life. And he worked toward that in a very aggressive way.

But my question is this: is it fair for Newt Gingrich to inject Saul Alinsky into the election.

COLMES: It's fair I mean, he can say whatever he wants. But you know, talking about -- the guy has been dead for 40 years and try to tie it to Obama because he wrote a book called "Rules for Radicals" in 1971.

O'REILLY: Right.

COLMES: Therefore Obama is a radical. And we played that game four years ago it didn't seem to get Republicans elected. We played the game trying to tie President Obama to Bill Ayers, to Reverend Wright and Saul Alinsky. Are we going to re-fight the 2008 -- it didn't work last time.


O'REILLY: I don't know, I mean, but now with President Obama is being so devoted to big government, so devoted to income redistribution, income equality, then, see back then we didn't know what we were getting with the President. All right, so it was harder to make the case that he was a radical or he admired radicals. Now it's a little easier to make that case.

COLMES: I will disagree that he is married to this idea. I believe the Republicans have misstated that he wants equal outcomes. The President by the way, the stimulus package you went through the numbers before, 40 percent of that were tax cuts. Part of the reason the -- the deficit has gone up so much is 40 percent of that package were the very thing Republicans say they want. They want tax credits and tax cuts.

This isn't big government. This is actually giving tax money back. That's 40 percent of what the President did in the stimulus package.


O'REILLY: But even President Obama would -- would admit, I think he's going to say it again tonight. That the federal government in his opinion has a tremendous role in capitalism. In ensuring an outcome for American workers and that's what Alinsky wants.

COLMES: I think that's a fair, well, you want to tie him to everything Alinsky. Alinsky was more of an organizer, a tactical guy that William Buckley said was a genius in organizing by the way. It was more about taxes.



COLMES: To help the disempowered become empowered versus Machiavelli who which is what I think Republicans used to keep the people empower -- to keep power. And so we're talking --


CROWLEY: Ok, let's -- first of all, let's keep in mind who Saul Alinsky was and how he directly influenced Barack Obama. Saul Alinsky wrote "Rules for Radicals" in '71 and dedicated it to Lucifer. He was the Godfather --


O'REILLY: The devil?

CROWLEY: Yes, I'm not making it up. Lucifer.

O'REILLY: It wasn't Lucifer Schwartz.


O'REILLY: No, it was just Lucifer.

CROWLEY: No it wasn't -- it wasn't Murray Lucifer. He dedicated it to Lucifer. This is the Godfather of the leftist movement. Barack Obama - - and it came out of Chicago -- Barack Obama when he got to the University of Chicago actually taught Alinsky 101 as a course there. So let's not try --


O'REILLY: So that what it was called.

CROWLEY: -- it was basically called Alinsky Tactics 101. Barack Obama actually taught. But keep in mind the broader point about Alinsky and this is why your point about Obama now having a record that we can marry to his philosophy and the tactics of Saul Alinsky. This is where it's so important. Alinsky talked about organizing minorities and other groups to -- to articulate their grievances.


O'REILLY: Yes, get what they want. Right.

CROWLEY: Mobilize on their grievances which the community organizers like Barack Obama helpfully supplied to them so that they would mobilize against the establishment; the haves versus the have notes.


O'REILLY: Well what's wrong -- what's wrong -- wait, wait, what's wrong with poor people and people who are not getting what they think they should get, all right, for whatever reason organizing and having a voice? What's wrong with that?

CROWLEY: But remember, this is the very essence of socialism. This is the -- the tactics of Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama are geared toward wealth redistribution. It's all in service of that goal rather than in the free market goal.


O'REILLY: But it's just a matter of degree -- look, Alinsky didn't respect private property and that is --


CROWLEY: But remember Bill, remember this is what Occupy Wall Street is all about. This is the same revolution.


O'REILLY: Ok but Obama has not embraced Occupy Wall Street except for that first --


CROWLEY: Sure he has. Of course he has made a couple comments supportive. Nancy Pelosi have all embraced it.

O'REILLY: Right and now he's way out of there. Way out of there. All right.

COLMES: Alinsky was not a ideologue, he did not believe in communism or socialism. He believed in tactics to get people to get what they want.


O'REILLY: He didn't believe in private property.

COLMES: He would not have defined himself.


O'REILLY: But he can say -- you can say he wasn't a communist or socialist.

COLMES: He was not.

O'REILLY: But when you say I don't believe in private property. I put human rights above property rights.

COLMES: What he believes is nothing to do with what Obama does. Obama --


O'REILLY: Ok, you just pivoted you're argument there.


COLMES: No, I never said he is embracing Alinsky's belief system. He's embracing certain abilities and tactics to help empower --

O'REILLY: Ok, is it fair for Gingrich to bring this up this radical Alinsky and try to tie him to Obama? Is that fair?

CROWLEY: Absolutely. You don't have to try to tie anything Barack Obama -- and you saw Carney there. Barack Obama --


O'REILLY: I don't think Carney knew who Alinsky was.

CROWLEY: No, le's -- let's not be naive here Bill; of course he know who Saul Alinsky is.

O'REILLY: Do you think he is a communist? Carney?

CROWLEY: I don't know where Carney stands. I think the President is a Marxist.


O'REILLY: All right, that's what the Republicans are trying to do.

CROWLEY: But it's absolutely fair. It's absolutely fair and now look, Obama would take issue with the radical part but not with the Saul Alinsky part.

COLMES: By the way the Tea Party has used Alinsky's tactics as well, they do the very same thing.

CROWLEY: Oh come on Alan you're way out. You're out to lunch, dude.

COLMES: The Tea Party have actually used some of the things.

O'REILLY: The Tea Party.

COLMES: No I'm not, I'm just saying that the right wing has used Alinsky. The right wing has used --

O'REILLY: You're obsessed with it. Yes, I think Colmes is secretly a member.

COLMES: You never know.

CROWLEY: Card-carrying. Card carrying.

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